A chamber of commerce is a group of businesses that works towards achieving collective goals. Often, the advancement of the local community at the city, state or national level is a priority. Chambers of commerce provide information on local business listings and directories, business practices, networking meetings and area events.
Participation in a chamber of commerce is voluntary. Area businesses can choose to be members but aren't required to do so. Most chambers support their efforts with dues received from members.
While the organizations appear to be government-affiliated, chambers usually aren't affiliated with their local governments. In fact, most chambers of commerce are self-funded and run by owners working in the private sector. And, associated boards and committees are often volunteer-run.
There is only one type of chamber of commerce. However, the goals of each organization can vary depending on the needs of the local business community. That can make various chambers appear to be different, though this is typically based on their actions within a community and not on a fundamental difference in design.
Additionally, a chamber of commerce may be known by different names. A chamber of commerce might simply be called a chamber in its local area. Other chambers of commerce may go by names such as a board of trade or business council.